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Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara knows that the beautiful surface of his adopted city, Florence, hides dark undercurrents. When called in to investigate a series of brutal and apparently random murders, his intuition is confirmed.
Distrusted by his superiors and pilloried by the media, Ferrara finds time running out as the questions pile up. Is there a connection between the murders and the threatening letters he has received? Are his old enemies, the Calabrian Mafia, involved? And what part is played by a beautiful young woman facing a heart-rending decision, a priest troubled by a secret from his past, and an American journalist fascinated by the darker side of life?
Ferrara confronts the murky underbelly of Florence in an investigation that will put not only his career but also his life on the line.
Originally published in Italy as Scarabeo
"The writing is closer to the pared-down style of such Americans as Ed McBain than to that of Giuseppe di Lampedusa. . . . the plotting is full of quiet confidence. The air of authenticity . . . is persuasive throughout the novel." Independent
"A tightly crafted novel, oozing Italian culture, it grabs the reader from the very beginning. . . . an excellent debut novel." Reviewing the Evidence
"Fans of Donna Leon will especially love Guittari's style and sense of place—and may even find that Guittari is more attentive to Florentine scenery than Leon is to the Venetian landscape."—Booklist